Mac OS X Server 10.4.6: Changes in server hostname discovery

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Mac OS X Server 10.4.6 improves server hostname discovery and error reporting. This article summarizes the changes.

Automatic hostname storage

The hostname will automatically be stored to System Configuration the first time it is detected via a DNS lookup.

  • servermgrd will attempt to look up the hostname of the server in DNS based on its primary IP address, when the hostname has not been set. If it finds a name, it will store that name in System Configuration.
  • This prevents the host booting with a ".local" name when the network is not up in time or there is boot timing issue due to switch latencies, and so forth.
  • /var/log/system.log will have entries that servermgrd has set the hostname and what it has set it to the first time it is detected.
  • /var/log/system.log will denote that the names of the host and DNS are "synchronized," meaning, everything is ok.

Leave hostconfig alone

You should not modify the configuration file /etc/hostconfig, meaning you should leave hostname set as "-AUTOMATIC-".

Getting in the zone

If you configure a server as a DNS server for the first time, and it does not have a valid DNS name, the hostname will also be automatically set when the DNS zone is created.

Tastier logs

Various error messages now get logged to /var/log/system.log when the configured hostname and DNS do not match, warning you that things will not work correctly until fixed. Hostname checks occur periodically, you'll be reminded. Here's some sample system.log messages for reference:

DNS/configured name mismatch:

===== Apr 5 15:30:50 server3 servermgrd: servermgr_dns: configured name and reverse DNS name do not match (server3.testzone.com != nameserver.testzone.com), various services may not function properly - use changeip to repair and/or correct DNS

Synchronized message:

===== Apr 5 15:37:58 nameserver servermgrd: servermgr_dns: hostname and DNS entries for this server are synchronized

First boot, hostname set:

==== Apr 5 15:40:23 server2 servermgrd: servermgr_dns: hostname has been set to nameserver.testzone.com in SystemConfiguration - use changeip to change Apr 5 15:40:24 server2 servermgrd: servermgr_dns: hostname and DNS entries for this server are synchronized

For general information about using the changeip tool to change your server hostname or IP address see the Mac OS X Server Command-Line Administration Guide on the server documentation page, or type man changeip in Terminal.

For more information about changes to the the changeip tool in Mac OS X Server 10.4.6, see "changeip now requires fully qualified domain names."

Published Date: Oct 7, 2016